Saturday, January 1, 2011

Gladys Strum: Farm Woman, Teacher and CCF MP/MLA

By Georgina M. Taylor

Gladys Strum, January 1961.
Ralph Vawter (Saskatchewan Archives Board)
Gladys Strum, like many women in Canadian history, was a juggler. She spent her adult life juggling the various roles she played as a farm woman, teacher and politician. Her strong political convictions grew out ofher experiences as a farm woman on the prairies in the 193Os. As the only woman in the House of Commons from 1945 to 1949 she was like the pork in a can of pork and beans, "vastly outnumbered."

Women politicians had to develop very tough hides in order to endure the often vicious slings and arrows that the world threw at them. This Strum learned during a political career in which she became the first woman in Canada to be elected the president of a political party, the fifth woman MP, and fifth woman MLA in Saskatchewan. While she was a politician she was also working as a farm woman, wife and mother and often, in addition, she was going to university and running a boarding house, running a motel, or teaching school.

Read more HERE.

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